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Trip report of 3 Days Birding in Sumba, October 2018

First birding trip in Sumba island for clients from Lombok has gone smoothly. During October 7-9, 2018 we birded in two locations Billa and Lewa (part of Manupeu-Tanadaru-Laiwangi-Wanggameti or simply Matalawa NP).

One of two Citron-crested Cockatoo from Billa

Birding in peak of dried season is another challenge. After landed in Umbu Mehang Kunda airport then transferred to Billa for 5 drive hours. Stop by on 2 hours before arrived for short afternoon birding along the road side of Lailara. There were 10 fruiting calabur trees Muntingia calabura where often visited by Sumba Flowerpecker.

The remaining 2 hours before arriving in Billa was bumpy road, wisely we used four-wheel-drive. It was also useful for explore the birds inside the park.

Quickly when arrived, then birded at night looking for the owl. Until 9 pm we just hear the song of Little Sumba Hawk-owl and Greater Sumba Boobook. Decided to take a rest in ranger office. In Billa there are only 2 option for stayed, camping inside the park and live in with ranger in the huge office building.

Male Sumba Flowerpecker enjoyed fruit of Calabur tree

After breakfast we entered clearing area in Billa, it was good when the birds start actively singing while sun-bathing. Then quickly move follow dried river. At the midday we back to the office for lunch, before entered the park once again we saw Short-toed Serpent-eagle perched at top of Kapok tree's next to the office.

From afternoon until 9 pm continue birding in Billa to get another chance that we missed before. We birded along dried river where remain small pools, and at night finally encountered with Little Sumba Hawk-owl and short viewed of Greater Sumba Boobook.

Male Sumba Hornbill encountered near its hole nest

We have half day to birding in Billa on 9 October before we move to Lewa. At morning the weather was good as same as the day before. Started at entrance gate, we found fruiting tree which 10 birds species foraged. Some species that we missed yesterday nailed at that spot.

The last half day spent in Lewa for owling. We were just visited two location in here, Langgaliru forest and road-side-forest near the ranger office. Started before dark until 9 pm, we nailed to saw two endemic Booboks.